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3 Things To Do When Buying An Older Home

By Laura Anderson

Decades ago homes were built by carpenters and builders with an artistry and care that showed in the finish product. Floors were hewn from finely polished timber, ornate bay windows added character and detailing around the home was often intricate and decorative.

Older homes may have a myriad of problems that could be costly to fix.

Things have changed in the modern age. Homes are built with efficiency, density and cost effectiveness in mind, and while modern homes can be just as beautiful they rarely have the quaint charm that older properties do.

Additionally, Grattan institute research shows that a home being detached is one of the five most important things that buyers look for. An older property is more likely to be detached and may be more attractive as result.

While they may be charming in appearance, such homes may also have a myriad of different problems that could be costly to fix, especially if they come out of the blue. To help you avoid such nasty surprises let’s have a quick look at what you must do before buying an older home. Take these tips to mind and you’ll be sitting pretty on the porch of a stately old villa in no time.


Guidelines suggest that property viewings should take between 30 and 60 minutes. During this time try not to let the owner rush you through, and make the most of the time as it’s a great chance to uncover problems with the property.

Save yourself the time and money of hiring inspectors.

If you find something major wrong during this stage you could save yourself the time and money of hiring inspectors and perhaps decide to avoid the property completely.

Take a close look at the exterior and interior walls, as well as floorboards, skirting boards and the roof. Look out for signs of mould or damp, and check for sagging or cracking that could be a result of structural problems.

Check the age and size of the hot water system and check that the plumbing is in working order by flushing loos and running the taps. It may also be a good idea to listen out for noise in the surrounding area, as having a busy restaurant in your back yard may be a deal-breaker.


If unexpected, a termite or structural problem in your home can drain your bank account and test your patience. The cost of treating a termite infestation could be as much as $5,000 for an average sized home. A structural problem could cost you even more.

The cost of treating a termite could be as much as $5000.

Instead of risking massive expenses down the track, enlist the services of a pest inspector and gain peace of mind that your home won’t be a termite infested money pit. This should cost between $250 and $350 and a building inspection should cost roughly the same, depending on the size and location of your home.

It’s best to get these inspections done with any home that you buy, but due to their age and the way they are built, inspections are even more essential in older homes.


Are you looking at buying older real estate? If you’re unsure of whether or not the property you’re considering is a wise purchase it’s best to get help from someone that knows the ins and outs of such a home.

A licensed  real estate agent can help you here, as they know exactly what to look for and can spot the signs of an expensive mistake from a mile away.

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